Man found next to hypo needle charged with possession
A local man with a string of arrests up and down the Roaring Fork Valley in recent years was found unconscious early Tuesday next to a hypodermic needle he later admitted contained heroin, according to court documents.
Benjamin Levy, 29, who currently has eight open cases in Aspen’s judicial district, was later charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of a protection order. Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely ordered Levy held in lieu of a $10,000 cash-only bond Wednesday.
“I think you need help,” Fernandez-Ely said. “I don’t think you’re safe. I don’t think the community is safe.”
The latest incident involving Levy occurred about 5:20 a.m. Tuesday, when Aspen police received a call about a possible drug overdose at a residence in the 100 block of Passago Lane.
“The (caller) was reporting that his friend, Levy, was seizing on the floor,” according to a police report filed Wednesday in Aspen District Court.
An Aspen police officer arrived a few minutes later and “found Levy unresponsive on the floor with a hypodermic needle next to” his body, the report states. The friend had performed “compressions” on Levy because he was unresponsive.
“Levy then woke up and stated that he did not want to see police and started to become aggressive with (the responding officer),” according to the report.
Paramedics asked Levy what was in the needle and he told them it was heroin, the report states. Paramedics and the officer also found other paraphernalia, including an empty bindle, a bottle cap containing liquid heroin, burnt aluminum foil and cotton balls, according to the report.
“While speaking with Levy, I observed what appeared to be a fresh injection site on his right forefinger,” Aspen police Detective Jeff Fain wrote in the report.
On Wednesday in court, Levy told the judge he was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time and was arrested. He also admitted he could become “volatile” when not taking his medication.
“This was kind of a huge setback for me,” Levy said. “I was on my way to getting my life back together.”
Aspen prosecutor Sarah Talbott said Levy has eight open criminal cases, including three violations of probation.
Levy was arrested in October 2013 for firing a gun in his Woody Creek apartment, causing the bullet to enter his neighbor’s apartment. No one was injured. He also was charged with DUI the same day. He was arrested twice in May 2014 for theft, twice in June 2014 for DUI and harassment, once in July 2014 for violating protection orders and harassment and again in September 2014 for disabling a merchandise theft alarm at Target in Glenwood Springs.
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In this week’s Snowmass briefs: Leaf composting is now available to Snowmass Village residents in Town Park; Brush Creek Trail is now closed to dogs for the winter season; and a rare hand-painted original map of Snowmass Ski Area is for sale.